Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book Review: Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Series: A Rose Gardner Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2015)

Description: For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV is bad even before she has a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, but this one is different. She’s never seen herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered instead of Rose, there’s only one thing that’s certain: Rose is the prime suspect.

With prison looming, Rose realizes she’s wasted her life and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before everything falls apart. From drinking a glass of wine to doing “more” with a man, Rose is well on her way to committing a good number of the seven deadly sins, with the help of her hot and mysterious neighbor Joe. Joe is new to town, and it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty of dangerous secrets of his own.

When her house is broken into and someone else she knows is murdered, Rose realizes that dying in the county jail may not be her biggest worry after all in Denise Grover Swank’s sparkling and romantic mystery series debut, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes.

My Thoughts: Rose Gardner is not having a very good week. She begins with having a vision while she is at work at the DMV. She sees herself dead! Rose has always had visions but they have never been about her future before and are usually about trivial things. She faints after having the vision and is sent home. She goes to her sister's instead because her mother is a cruel woman who hates her and bullies her.

The next day Rose has a fight with her mother. She has finally reached her breaking point with the bullying. Rose storms out, spends the afternoon at the library, takes herself out to dinner, and winds up in the park where she makes a list of 28 things she wants to do before she dies. When she finally goes home, she finds that the house has been broken into and her mother has been murdered. Since the weapon was the rolling pin that Rose used to make pie dough before she left earlier in the day, Rose becomes a suspect.

Rose is in shock when she finds her mother but the sexy new next door neighbor, Joe, is there to help her out. Joe also helps her by repairing the broken in door and repainting the blood spattered living room. As a matter of fact, Joe is more than willing to help her with the items on her wish list. But Joe is a suspicious character who is keeping secrets.

Rose is busy trying to check things off on her list before the death she saw in her vision happens which leads to her changing her wardrobe, her hairstyle, and her attitude. But someone wants something from her and she may not live to finish all the items on her list.

This was a fun mystery with a wonderful main character. Rose dealt with lots and lots of changes with courage and her sense of humor. I was pleased to learn that this book was first written in 2011 and that the author has published six more books in the series. I hope Crooked Lane will be publishing them too.

Favorite Quote:
"So...can I get you anything?"

His question stumped me. I had no idea if I needed anything. My mind felt detached from my body, like I was watching a movie playing in front of me instead of real life. Maybe I should ask for popcorn. I looked up at him with an expression of bewilderment.

He took pity on me. "I'll get you a glass of water."
I got this book from the publisher for review. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I haven't heard of this author but this definitely sounds like an interesting mystery! I love the sound of Rose's character though it definitely does not sound like she's having a good time of it!

  2. I enjoyed your review. I too love it when I discover there are more books in a series already published. I've gotten out of bed to grab the next one before. LOL
    Sounds like you have more fun reading ahead of you.

  3. I haven't heard of her either but this does sound like a good read. Thanks for sharing.


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